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The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism
Robert E. BuswellRobert E. Buswell Jr., David S. LopezDavid S. Lopez Jr.

foxing. ( J. busshō; K. pulsŏng 佛性‎). 

In Chinese, “buddha-nature,” a translation of the Sanskrit term buddhadhātu (buddha-element). According to the East Asian Yogācāra tradition (see Faxiang zong), there are “two kinds of buddha-nature” (er foxing), referring to the “buddha-nature of principle” (li foxing) and the “functional buddha-nature” (xing foxing), or literally, “buddha-nature of the nature.” The former type is said to be the true nature of factors (dharma), which is beyond production and cessation, birth and death, conceptualization and designation—a “principle” (li) discoverable by all through wisdom. The latter type is a latent seed or potentiality (bīja) within the eighth storehouse consciousness (ālayavijñāna) that may, if it is activated and matured, eventually result in the achievement of buddhahood. According to the Faxiang school, the “buddha-nature of principle” is “universal” in the sense that all sentient beings partake in it. Only some sentient beings, however, are endowed with the “functional buddha-nature”; others are said to be devoid of the potential to achieve buddhahood for all eternity (see icchantika). The Foxing lun, an important treatise on the buddha-nature and tathāgatagarbha thought, discusses three types of foxing: (1) “the buddha-nature that dwells in itself,” viz., that is inherent in the minds of deluded ordinary beings (pṛthagjana); (2) “the emergent buddha-nature,” which emerges as a result of practice, and which is initiated when the adept first generates the aspiration for enlightenment (bodhicittotpāda); and (3) “the attained buddha-nature,” which is achieved once the bodhisattva path (mārga) is completed and the fruition of buddhahood attained. See also the extended coverage in buddhadhātu.